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Emotional LexiconsContinuity and Change in the Vocabulary of Feeling 1700-2000$
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Ute Frevert, Christian Bailey, Pascal Eitler, Benno Gammerl, Bettina Hitzer, Margrit Pernau, Monique Scheer, Anne Schmidt, and Nina Verheyen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655731

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655731.001.0001

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Topographies of Emotion

Topographies of Emotion

(p.32) 2 Topographies of Emotion
Emotional Lexicons

Monique Scheer

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the way emotion terminology in the German language is intertwined with changing conceptions of the soul or mind and its interiority. A more lively exchange between ‘inner’ (mental) and ‘outer’ (bodily) parts of the person were envisioned in the definitions prior to 1800 than in encyclopedias of the nineteenth century, when Kantian concepts became dominant. In the Biedermeier period, when the privacy of the home became the romanticized refuge of the bourgeoisie, the term Gefühl (feeling), which had been restricted to the tactile sense two generations earlier, was encapsulated in a newly postulated emotive faculty of the soul, interiorized, and spiritualized. The specifically German term Gemüt—claimed to be ‘untranslatable’ into English or French—became the location of feeling, whereas the term Affekt, which Kant distinguished from Leidenschaft (passion), was deemed an external, bodily emotion and provided the template for the Anglicized term Emotion dominant in the latter twentieth century, in which emotions in the encyclopedias were generally externalized (or somaticized).

Keywords:   interiority, soul, Gemüt, affect, passion, temporality, depth, body, mind

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